When I was four years old, my parents enrolled me in tap dancing. I loved it, or so I thought. My class learned a routine to the song, On The Good Ship Lollipop. The day of our recital, we were each handed an over-sized lollipop crafted from brightly colored sponges on a wooden dowel to hold as our prop. I vaguely remember some kid taking a bite out of the sponge because they thought it was a real lollipop. (Maybe, that was me?) Anyhow, as my mom helped me wiggle my way into my leotard and my froufrou white and blue tulle and silver sequin-littered tutu, I remember her saying one thing to me, “Mommy and Daddy will have a camera, so don’t forget to smile.”
Well, I did exactly that with a few shuffle-steps in between.
I was very confused about what was happening. To this day, I have not one picture from this.
Fast forward to my junior year in college. I decided to take Intro to Dance thinking this would be redemption to my smiling debut of 1991.
We learned a routine to Lady Marmalade. Zero redemptions were earned that semester.
I barely scraped by with a B. Although, I learned a few things about my dancing style that semester. I can’t. That’s my style. I actually learned that my feet…and legs…and body… don’t move that quickly or with any type of timed, coordinated rhythm.
Even as an adult I have had the same err problems in Zumba and hip-hop aerobics classes. I’ve had an instructor approach me after Zumba one time to say, “You’ll get better.”
And to clear things up- I never once thought I could dance. Similar to my swimming, I can do enough to not drown.
All this to say, Namibians can dance.
Namibians love to incorporate dancing in everything. Church service, weddings, youth groups, after school, the list goes on.
I split my time during the week between the local schools and the clinic. The first few times I visited the schools, the learners (students) would just laugh at me. Mostly because they don’t understand my American English. Since some of the learners are becoming more comfortable around me, they now have taken the time to show me their hobbies and talents.
I made a deal with my learners. I’ll help them with English if they will teach me to dance. 🙂
I decided to start using YouTube for my videos instead of Vimeo because it offers more capabilities of editing, etc., and it has more of a Peace Corps audience than said Vimeo. Plus, my friends and family back home already use YouTube.
In this video, the learners have organized a song and dance about animals and why they are important. Take a look! Make sure watch it in HD for best picture.